In 1985, two novice moviemakers, director David Anspaugh and writer/producer Angelo Pizzo, began filming Hoosiers. They and their cast and crew faced the pressures of a short schedule, a small budget, and other challenges. Yet buoyed by the support of countless Indiana residents, they overcame their own self-doubt and the skepticism of outsiders to create a classic. This website showcases rare images from and not-widely-known facts about this much-loved movie.

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After the flurry of activity and media attention that accompanied the production of Hoosiers throughout 1985, the following year began more quietly. Fewer stories about the movie were appearing in Indiana newspapers. After a February 1986 article reported that Hoosiers was in the editing process, a few months went by with no updates. Then, in July, an article appeared with the intriguing headline “Surfers give OK to film about ‘Hoosiers.’” It said that the previous month, Hoosiers had faced its first serious test, as an initial cut was shown to an audience of 500 in Costa Mesa, California. The viewers’ reactions to this sneak preview would give studio executives an idea of how much an average audience liked the movie. The feedback also would help executives formulate a strategy for marketing Hoosiers, think about how much to spend on the advertising campaign, and decide whether the movie would receive a wide or limited rollout.

The filmmakers had hoped that at least half the audience would be older than 25, to ensure that they would receive opinions from viewers of many different ages. However, 70% of the moviegoers, recruited mostly from beaches and shopping malls, were younger than 20. Screenwriter/producer Angelo Pizzo feared that these youthful West Coast surfer types couldn’t relate to his movie about 1950s Indiana basketball and rural life.

But the sneak preview went spectacularly well, Pizzo said, scoring the highest preview rating in the history of Orion Pictures. This fact came as a huge relief to Pizzo and director David Anspaugh, who had felt throughout production that the movie wasn’t turning out well. That an audience different from typical Indiana residents had embraced Hoosiers was the filmmakers’ first indication that, to their astonishment, they might just have a hit on their hands.

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Check out the new, updated, and expanded The Making of Hoosiers, Second Edition. New to this edition are photos and images, as well as additional stories, quotations, details, and info on the production of this classic motion picture. The most complete account of the creation of the movie, it’s a must-have for anyone who loves Hoosiers. Paperback; 312 pages; $16; published August 2016. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Copyright © 2013–2017 The Hoosiers Archive

 

18 thoughts on “

  1. I was watching “Hoosiers” this morning and noticed something that I don’t see mentioned anywhere on this site. The scene in the locker room before the Championship game opens with Coach Dale going over the top players for the opposing team. Their top player is named “Boyle”. Then I noticed that all the top players listed on the chalk board share the last names of the actors playing the Hickory Huskers: Hollar, Long, Poole, Schenck. I had never noticed that before. 🙂

  2. Excellent site – one of my favorite movies of all time. Thank you for building this site for fans and friends.

  3. Went to New Richmond today. Everything is there except Coach Norman Dale. Great site, great book, too!

  4. Gayle,
    Just found the site. I am #5 on the Linton team. I did not know a team photo existed. Great site!

  5. I just purchased the book and have found a lot of information on the movie. I grew up in Knightstown and my grandmother lived on the alley next to the Hoosier Gym. I spent many years playing ball in the gym. I plan on a road trip to see some of the other filming locations. Love the movie and will finish the book soon.

  6. Absolutely love this site and just purchased the book! Can’t get enough of this movie and really enjoyed going down memory lane. Loved the movie as a young girl! Thanks for collecting the facts and sharing with all of us fanatics!

  7. I’ve loved this film for years….stumbled on this site by chance…great pics and info about the locations would love to come over to the states and visit them ……great site….will buy the book as well….

  8. I found your website by accident the other day and I just love it. We’ve visited the gym several times, went to New Richmond twice and try to collect as much info and memorabilia as possible. We have many relatives up near Kokomo and we always come to Knightstown before going up there. We are thrilled with all the information on your site. Thank you so much.

  9. Awesome job with the site,Gayle–you are a true “HOOSIERS” expert!(Buddy-#14)

  10. You have done a fantastic job of collecting information and memorabilia. Kudos to you for all of your hard work! This is a great resource for fans of the movie.

  11. Gayle,
    I enjoyed talking with you in Milan. I wish you much success on the new book.
    My Best,
    Steve Hollar aka Rade Butcher

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